Comparing Muscle Function of Children and Adults: Effects of Scaling for Muscle Size

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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This study examined the force-velocity and power-velocity relationships of the quadriceps muscles of children and adults. Measurements of muscle function were collected using the Con-Trex isokinetic dynamometer. Twenty adults and twenty children performed maximal effort knee extensions at nine different velocities. The mean force-velocity curves of children and adults revealed obvious differences between the groups. The curves remained different following corrections of torque for CSA and velocity for length. ANOVA revealed significant differences in the uncorrected values of power between the two groups. When power values were corrected for lean thigh muscle volume, no significant differences were found between the groups. These findings suggest that differences in muscle strength between children and adults are a function of muscle size and imply that muscle function remains relatively unchanged from childhood to early adulthood.

The authors are with the Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

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